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EPA to clean up poisons in closed Grand Rapids factory | News

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EPA to clean up poisons in closed Grand Rapids factory

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WZZM) -- A team from the Environmental Protection Agency is coming to Grand Rapids to remove thousands of gallons of acids, solvents and other chemicals from a closed factory.

Drums and open vats full of toxic, poisonous chemicals were left behind when the city seized Hard Chrome Plating Co. on Blaine Avenue for not paying taxes.

The Kent County Land Bank bought the building with plans to sell it to another business.

But first the EPA must remove the poisons.

"According to the reports we got there are about 25 highly toxic corrosive chemicals in this building right now," says Land Bank executive director Dave Allen. "In its current state, if left undisturbed, none of this is dangerous right now. If it is disturbed, then it becomes dangerous."

Allen says EPA estimates it will take months to remove the chemicals and clean up the site.

Then they will try to track down the former owners of the building and make them pay.

"We are really glad it will be cleaned up and returned to productive use," says Oakdale Neighbors Executive Director Tom Bulten. "We are hopeful a new owner or new tenant can see it as a great place for a business and be an asset in the neighborhood."